The words that come to mind when I look at this bird are “confident” and “well fed.” The pelican’s stance is one that conveys comfort in, and possibly even enjoyment of, being close to a human with a camera. It lives in a preserve where it is protected and has ample food. Sure, the bird could fly away. But it didn’t!
This California brown pelican was showing off its grace and power taking flight from the rocky shore of La Jolla.